Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I have been preoccupied offline with a lot of other responsibilities, all of which I am very thankful for.

  • I got a new job! I currently work as a Marketing Manager and I am excited to face the opportunity that comes with the role.
  • My husband and I started our own company, Black Dog SUP! Our company offers stand-up paddleboard sales, rentals, and tours.  We have been busy prepping for our winter marketing/sales strategies.

I have to also mention that I am thankful for my now 3 inches of hair! It is starting to help keep me warm during the winter months. 🙂 It has grown so much since July, and without a doubt it is healthier. I have had fun over the last couple of months experimenting with wash-n-gos, flat twists, twist outs, and even the occasional fully picked out fro. I have also identified which products work best for me in the winter, but I am sure I will need to adjust as I retain length this season.

I finally have a couple days to relax and recharge, but not until I first give thanks where needed. I’d like to thank my family and friends for all of your love and encouragement. Though we all may be states apart, I can still feel the warmth and laughter that would fill the house when we gathered.  I hold those memories very close to my heart. I’d like to thank my husband for being my best friend and my rock. This has been quite a year of growth for us and I look forward to seeing where the next couple of years take us. To anyone else who is reading this, I thank you for your support. My hair journey has been a very humbling process, and I am appreciative to have the opportunity to share glimpses of my world.

Enjoy your holiday. Be Safe and Take Care.

Little Love Curls.

 

My Bigger than Big Chop ITALIAN Moments, Family Style!

Buongiorno!

It has almost been a month since my last post, and I have so much to share!

My family and I have been vacationing in Italy over the past 3 weeks and I just got a chance to weed through over 1,000 photos.  The gallery above were some of our highlights.

There were many firsts for everyone on this trip, and it was a treat to have some quality time to spend with my family. Despite the fact that we were there for almost a month, our vacation was such a whirlwind. If anyone ever has the opportunity to go to Italy, I would recommend that you try to go for more than one week. We stationed ourselves in Florence for two weeks, doing day trips throughout this time. Then we went to Rome for our last week. We covered a lot of ground, and I think we used almost every means of transportation to do so. That was an adventure in itself!

Here is a quick roundup of bucket list items we accomplished:

  • My dad’s first trip to Europe, and my family’s first trip to Italy (except my husband).
  • My husband and I stand up paddleboarded the Venice Canals…No gondola for us!
  • My mom crossed off a gondala ride from her bucket list. For my dad, it was the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • My husband paddleboarded the Mediterranean Sea, twice.
  • And so much more! We could devote an entire night going through all the photos and narrating our adventures.

More than anything this trip was for my family. I had no mandatory things that I needed to accomplish on this trip. I just simply wanted to soak up Italy and was grateful to once again be in Europe. I was so happy to be a part of helping make these bucket list goals come true. I have been so busy trying to fulfill my own bucket list this year that it was very humbling and refreshing to witness my family’s achievements unfold. That brief moment when you see a person light up and take in their dreams becoming a reality is priceless. It is such a powerful freeing emotion. I wish I could bottle it up and re-share it with that person whenever they reach a challenging time in their life.

I also learned a lot about my hair while I was overseas. I was unsure as to how my hair would react so I brought a wide range of products (trying my best to transfer them all in 3 ounces or less containers). I was pleased to find that my hair responded best with just water, olive oil, and the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. My hair LOVED Italy’s olive oil so I would have no problem moving to this area long-term. 🙂

I am a bit sad to see my vacation end, and I will miss my daily dose of gelato, pizza, and pasta. However, I am excited to see what the change in season brings. This will be my first time embracing my natural (and short) hair through a Midwest winter. Any suggestions or recommendations on how I can prepare and/or maintain healthy hair through this winter? There are some obvious things I know I should do, but I would love to hear from other that are either in the same boat or have already endured this weather with their natural hair.

Ciao! Ciao! Ciao!

Court B

Little Love Curl’s First Video!

Hi Everyone!

Hope you had a great weekend.

My mom mailed me my old baby picture albums this weekend, and I felt inspired to do an intro to my natural hair and life journey via a video. You can check it out below. Be sure to Like, Comment, and or Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Every now and then I think it would be nice to showcase my journey through videos. I am heading to Italy soon and I am sure I will have a ton of footage and pictures to share in my next video blog post. 🙂

Enjoy!

Court B

Bigger than Big Chop Moments: Embracing the Storm!

It excites me to know that I am publishing this post exactly two months post Big Chop. In honor of this mini-milestone, I think it is imperative to kick-off a new series for my blog.

If you haven’t caught on yet from the title, my new series will be called:

Bigger than Big Chop Moments.

This series will be a great opportunity for me to share personal accomplishments or experiences (both on and off my buckets list) I have achieved in the wake of my big chop. While on this natural hair journey, I strongly feel that it is important for me to push myself to personally grow alongside my natural hair. If I can put the time in now to learn about my hair, then I can certainly take the time to expose myself to new experiences!

The first experience I’d like to share in this series is one that I know is relatable to many, regardless of your hair type.

Today, my husband and I were out Stand Up Paddleboarding. It’s a new outdoor hobby that I picked up, courtesy of my big chop. I’ll get into that story in a later post. 🙂

While we were out on the water, we noticed that a random storm was about to roll in. At that point, we were too far away from the boat launch, so we decided to stick it out and keep paddling our course. Now, if I had a relaxer in my hair, I would have been in complete panic mode (especially if I just had it done!). The last thing I would have wanted was to get my hair wet as I knew that would require me to spend hours back at home washing, blow-drying, and straightening.

One of the key things I am learning about my hair is that it LOVES water. Whether it’s styling or washing, my hair responds well and its health thrives off that moisture. So it was a no-brainer to keep charging on with paddling! I am so glad that my current hair lifestyle encouraged me to make such a small decision that lead to a bigger than big moment.

In the midst of the storm, I felt the raindrops calm my spirit and what was once large swells flatten to an almost cradling rhythm. There was a point that I truly felt like that moment was meant for me to experience at that specific point in my life. This was reaffirmed when the storm cleared and a rainbow shot out across the bay. Though it was not a bucket list item, it sure was worthy of crossing off a list!

Have you ever had experiences where such small decisions led to a “bigger than big moment”? Any personal achievements that are reflective of your natural hair journey? May this series move you to shake loose old bad habits and move towards open-mindedness.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to Follow/Like/Share my blog!

Cheers to finding those Bigger than Big Moments!

Little Love Curls

Too Quick to Snip Snip? My Big Chop Experience.

When I first decided to go natural, I felt that I needed to try to grow out my hair as long as I could before making any drastic cuts. My last relaxer was this April, and my goal was to transition through the summer and cut my hair before the winter holidays. At the time, this goal seemed completely do-able. I read a lot of articles and watched a bunch of videos thinking I had a handle on this process.

Boy, was I naĂŻve! I barely lasted for 3 MONTHS.

I started to play around with twist/braid outs, Bantu knots, and rod sets. I could barely get a good two strand flat twist in, and I spent just as much time in my hair as I would when relaxed. Not to mention, each time I got in the shower to wash my hair, I had ample amount of hair to collect from the drain. It was such a task to work with both textures. I was more enthusiastic playing with the natural curls, than my straggly relaxed ends.

Feeling more in love with the natural curls, I attempted to get a mini chop, 1 ½ months into the transition. I hoped that this would help with the transition process, but it just fast tracked me to Big Chop territory.

On July 10, I felt an intense urge to cut my hair. Every other thought in my head was helping me rationalize doing the big chop that day. I even joked around with my husband about making the change, and his response was “just go ahead and do it.” I would normally brush a comment like this off, but this time it really stuck with me (thanks babe!). Later in the day, I felt a wave of adrenaline kick. All I could do was run into the bathroom, grab my scissors, and go to town on my hair. I was so wide-eyed when I made my first snip. I know I am not the first one to have ever cut my hair off, but at that moment I felt like I was in completely uncharted territory. The light bulb went off and the gears started to get going…IT’S JUST HAIR!

I felt so liberated, so new, and so glad I made the decision to cut my hair earlier.  I also felt so ridiculous as I did not plan out the cut so well. I could barely see the hair in the middle of my head so I needed my husband to help.  I was also not paying attention to keeping a consistent length throughout the cut so I knew a salon visit was in my near future. J

I also learned quickly that I will no longer need to rely as much on a salon, especially in the beginning of my journey. I went to the salon to get my hair shaped up and ended up getting a style I was not as thrilled with. I liked it in the shop, but when I got home and did my first wash I knew this would not work day-to-day. My husband and I ended up working together with his clippers to get it to a style better suited for wash-n-go’s. At that point, I felt very confident with my new haircut and the start of my natural hair journey.  I felt ready to take on the world and see what I can amount to without hiding behind my hair!

The week’s right after my big chop seemed like a whirlwind. I was amazed at how much more I could achieve knowing that I was embracing my natural hair. I was crossing more things than ever off of my bucket list, and had a new spirit in me. Has anyone else ever experienced this right after their big chop or a drastic change?

In the coming weeks, I plan to share all of the things I am starting to cross off my bucket list thanks to my natural hair journey. I might even whip up a weekly series, to inspire others to take their natural hair journey as a time to fulfill bucket list items. Let me know if you think this would be interesting to read.

Be sure to like, share, and follow me. 🙂

Thanks and Take Care!

Little Love Curls

Welcome to Little Love Curls!

First, I’d like to send a warm welcome to my family and friends! I miss you all so much and I hope this blog gives me an opportunity to reconnect with you on another level.

For those who do not know me, I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope that any ounce of this blog inspires you.

Here is a quick introduction on me:

Courtney Belanger.

25 Years Old.

Originally from Southern New Jersey.

Currently in Green Bay, WI.

Coastie wife and pack leader of three dogs.

The main intent for this blog is for me to document my natural hair journey. My choice to go natural has sparked an untapped form of love that I never thought would be compelling to me. I have a new appreciation for life in regards to beauty. Before this change, I was so personally close-minded on my appearance and hid behind my somewhat long black relaxed hair. The past couple of years, I was not happy with my hair, but would have never dared to grow it out natural (or cut it all off!). I played it safe because I was not ready to risk the uncertainty of my hair texture. I started to find low-risk ways to test out going natural. I would constantly watch YouTube videos on natural hairstyles and live vicariously through the vloggers journey, go a couple extra weeks beyond my relaxer retouch, and try out different transitioning hairstyles. I thought that would be enough, to get the urge out of my system, and then retreat back to my chemically straightened hair. However, it did nothing but to intrigue me more. I found enjoyment in seeing my hair take on a different shape. Tightly wound curls started to pop up all over my head, and it made me wonder why I gave them up so early in my life. I was begging my mom for a relaxer at the age of 11, not even giving myself a chance to learn about my hair. I took the “easy route”, and killed my beautiful bra strap length hair in one quick salon visit. I owe it to myself to give my natural hair a second chance, and I am glad to take on the challenge.

So I am embarking on this natural hair journey. I LOVE my little curls! They are strong, resilient, and I believe they will give me new life inspirations.

To the future and welcome to my natural hair journey!

Little Love Curls.

Image

Throwback pic!

P.S. The inspiration for my blog title is from my middle name, Amorette. It means “little love” in french. I found that to be very appropriate for this journey. 🙂